A CORDIAL INVITATION
The meaning and origin of drink-related words and phrases
Nowadays, cordials are soft (i.e. non-alcoholic) drinks based on fruit. They are often made by diluting a concentrated fruit juice. However, cordials were originally an alcoholic drink made with a spirit, sweetened and infused with fruit etc to give it extra flavour and a perfume. They were credited with stimulating the heart and thus were given a name borrowed from the Medieval Latin cordialis meaning 'of or for the heart' from the Latin cor 'heart'. The word cordial has retained its connection with the heart in its other meaning of sincere/hearty, as used in the phrase 'you are cordially invited to'.
Beverage is a term that describes a liquid consumed as a drink. Dating back to around 1300, from the Old French bevrage, itself from bevre meaning 'to drink' but its ultimate derivation is the Latin bibere meaning drink, which is also the root of the word imbibe. Beverage also shares its origin with the word bevy or bevvy, a colloquial term for an alcoholic drink that dates from the late 19th century.
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